400 Tasting Notes
I went to OTC yesterday after working to get some herbal blends for my wife. I stumbled upon their new teas and grabbed a couple for myself, too. The owner and I talked about the new green teas that they have in stock. Despite my emphasis on avoiding green teas, they suggested that this was superior to the rest. I couldn’t be convinced to spend $35/ 1oz. He openly offered me a 6g sample and requested that I email my review of the tea. He was curious to what a non-green tea fan thought of it.
I asked a IG friend’s advice on brewing Gyokuro. They sent me a link to Mei Leaf’s ‘Umami’ brewing method.
First infusion: room temperature for 15 minutes. Strong notes of shiitake mushrooms, buttered almonds, cooked spinach, and seaweed.
Second infusion (160 F, 2.5 minutes): Rice cakes, seaweed, and strong umami notes.
Third infusion (160 F, 3.5 minutes): Less of the second, but still remained the same.
The fourth infusion was a bust, but I was feeling energized and motivated to get some house work done. I was told that Gyokuro was a great tea to eat. After hesitating for a minute, I threw the used leaves on a plate, added a touch of sesame oil, and chia seeds. Yum! More energy, but quite a treat for sure…
Flavors: Almond, Butter, Mushrooms, Rice, Seaweed, Spinach
I drank the last of this grandpa style the other day. It’s a very easily approachable tea; which doesn’t seem to have the ability to be over-brewed. I suppose since it is shou, it’s more common than not. I drank this since I had an upset stomach, and while not settling my pain too much, it helped a little.
Notes: Thick mouthfeel, earthy, mushroom, and sweet. I’d probably offer this to a puerh newbie, if they wanted to try a shou.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this tea. I was told by a tea friend that it was a unique one, but they never explained on how it was unique. The dry leaf has a typical ripe smell, but I noticed a touch of citrus. The wet leaf kicked me in the face with the citrus rind, spices, and hint of ripe puerh notes.
The flavor profile is very much like a spiced wine—heavy on the citrus and with heavy spice notes lingering in the mouth. I’m glad that I gave this a go, since I’ve been suffering from nausea/headaches since Sunday. It’s quite relieving to have something that both packs a punch and can ease these symptoms on a small scale.
Flavors: Citrus, Spices
I was given a sample of this a few months ago. I’m finally getting through my sample drawer (8 teas remain)! I had a few friends over for board games and food; however, as the night progressed forward, someone requested tea. I pulled the remaining leaf out of the bag, brewed 10g/100ML, and made some tea.
It seemed to go over well with everyone. I got a notes of wood, cocoa, almonds, and earth. I didn’t really spend too much time on the tea, but I was happy that everyone liked it.
Goodbye tasty tea. I let the remaining leaf (approximately 7g per 90ml) sit in my puerh storage for nearly two years. I’m glad that there was a huge difference in flavor than when I had it a while back. I remember this being very smoky/woody, but it developed a slight mineral bite toward the end of the leaf. I got about 9 steeps out of it, but it was a great tea while it lasted!
I would randomly drink this from time to time, but I never remembered the sessions all too well. However, upon drinking this, I realized that it wasn’t an oolong that I favored a lot. It’s bitter and very temperamental. Bringing the water to 195F (my usual temperature for an oolong) made the blossoms come through a lot, but also made the brew extremely bitter. I turned the temperature down to 180F, which did help, but I had to get through a few steeps to get it to workout.
When the temperature was right, I noticed heavy citrus, floral, and fruity flavors. I brewed out 6-8 steeps before moving on to the next tea session. It’s unfortunate that this is so low on my tea rating scale, on the account that this is the first oolong I’ve disliked from MST.
Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Floral, Fruity, Orange
I got a coin of this with my W2T order. I noted that it was bitter, astringent, punchy, and had a hint of pear notes. The leaf was very choppy, but I managed to pull a full leaf from the pile. It opened up nicely, for how small the coin was from the start. I got about 8-9 steeps in before moving on to the next session.